March 8, 2023
Last updated on:
September 20, 2023

What is content writing and why does it matter in marketing?

Writing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about marketing.

What is content writing and why does it matter in marketing?

It's all about the content. Writing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about marketing, but it’s one of the most vital components of any marketing strategy.

Think about a brand. You may imagine a company's logo, its products, or the visuals on its social media profiles and website. But take a closer look, and you'll see that written content is essential for good marketing and UX. Writing is used in advertising, website content, blog posts and press releases, social media captions, and on product and packaging design. Writing can be found everywhere along the branding and marketing process. With content writing playing an integral part in marketing, it may be shocking to learn that most brands do not utilize it effectively. 

In this article, we will explain how effective writing can change the game for your brand.

What is content writing?

Content writing is a specialized subset of content marketing. In content marketing, content is created to attract or engage with your audience in a more casual way than sales copy. Content marketing doesn’t usually promote a brand’s products directly, though it can. Instead, it provides value to your audience. 

This could include blog posts, free downloads, and/or videos. No matter the type of content, it needs to establish trust with your audience. 

In writing, this means creating high-quality, in-depth blog posts or downloadable content that drives traffic to your website through SEO.

How does this differ from copywriting? I'll explain that below.

What is copywriting?

How’s copywriting different from content writing? Whereas content writing involves creating something that provides value to your audience while telling them about your brand, copywriting persuades them to purchase your product.

Copywriting is all about selling. It’s used in advertisements, on websites, on landing pages, and other places where you are trying to directly sell something to your audience. 

Good copy is concise and convincing and often uses psychology and power or emotional words to appeal to your customers.

Why does content writing matter?

Good content helps you engage your potential customers, gets your website to rank on Google, and allows you to share your company story and values. For your marketing to be successful, you need to consider your target audience's needs. 

Good content ranks on the SERP

Quality content writing is essential for your business. It should provide value to your audience while improving your website's user experience. Anyone can stuff a page full of keywords with the hopes that it will increase site rankings. However, keyword stuffing can result in a stiff penalty from Google. It can also negatively impact your user experience, turning potential customers away. Experienced content writers naturally weave keywords into the narrative of your site.

Blogging is one of the most popular forms of SEO content marketing. In recent years, Google has placed more emphasis on ranking high-quality, recent content that's lengthy and original. For your blog to be successful, however, you need to commit to producing this engaging copy that your audience will find valuable. 

Good content provides value to your target audience

Good content provides value to your customers. If it doesn't teach your customers something, provide entertainment, answer their questions, or help them connect with your brand or products, then why do content marketing at all?

What makes content valuable? 

  • Being authoritative. This means being an expert in your industry or niche. You can use your marketing to teach your audience something or answer their questions. This information helps you appear more credible and trustworthy. It also helps to know why you are creating each piece of content (for example, what you want your audience to do with that information).
  • Being clear and concise. While you want your website copy to cover relevant topics in-depth, anyone should be able to understand it. Aim for a seventh or eighth-grade reading level and ensure that readers can easily skim your content. Make good use of tables and lists to highlight the main points.
  • Being original. You could also say, “Be authentic.” If what you're writing is the same as your competitors, it won't stand out. You want to bring a fresh perspective on the topic to your audience. If you're a small business especially, your audience doesn't want to hear from another company trying to make money. They want to hear YOUR perspective. That's right; you: the founder. Why did you start your business? Why are these topics important to you, and therefore, your customers?
  • Be entertaining. Depending on your audience, you can provide a ton of value through entertainment. 

Why does good copy matter?

Good communication is key to winning over customers. Successful marketing campaigns employ tactful and concise language aimed at specific audiences. 

When creating an online ad or social media post, you need to consider what will pull customers in. Effective writing strategies elevate your voice and tell your audience what they can expect from your brand. 

This avoids confusion and generally leads to an improved customer experience. 

Perhaps the best way to illustrate how copy matters is to look at what effect bad writing has on a brand.

There is nothing more embarrassing for a brand than having spelling mistakes or grammar errors on a webpage. While the occasional mistake could slip through review, it is always better to catch those errors before any customers read them. 

This is even worse when it comes to printed materials. Imagine this: You’ve just received a shipment of your new brochures or postcards and started distributing them to potential customers. You then notice a glaring spelling error on the inside, right where customers can learn about your different offerings. 

Since the printed materials can’t be changed after the fact, you’ve now wasted valuable time and money on ineffective marketing. 

Both online and in print, it is possible that the copy just wasn’t well written or effective in marketing to your audience. This could be because the writing didn’t reflect the brand or products, or it may have confused the audience or misled them.

Poor writing and mistakes can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. This can tarnish your credibility and reputation. Don’t let that be you! 

What is SEO, and how can it help your business?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of techniques and procedures that allow a website to rank higher in search results. SEO involves understanding what your audience is looking for online so you can optimize your site to receive that traffic.

Good SEO can increase the visibility of your website in search engines, which enables you to see increased web traffic. More web traffic, ultimately, can lead to more sales. That’s why blogs and articles, for example, are so effective in driving traffic to your website. When someone searches for a question or tips related to your industry, having an optimized blog post will make your web page appear as a result. 

Once someone is on your blog, your site design and the quality of the writing can convert them into a customer. This is a lead that may have never visited your site if it wasn’t for the blog and good SEO.

Obviously, you want as many people to visit your site as possible, and SEO allows you to do that. However, even if you have the best SEO, your marketing won’t succeed as well as it could without an entire marketing package. Good writing and graphics still help determine if a customer will engage with your brand and make a purchase. You can be successful with great content and no SEO, but you can’t do the same with only great SEO. 

For example, if someone visits your website because it appears first in a search result, this is the benefit of effective SEO. If however, that person then leaves the site because your website copy and graphics didn’t pull them in and entice them to make a purchase, then your SEO might not have helped you as much as a complete marketing package.

You have to find a balance between good SEO and a great user experience on your website.

My experience as a content writer

Ever since becoming involved with marketing in 2019, I've been mainly a content writer. I've seen firsthand how my work and that of my colleagues have brought traffic to client websites, generating leads and sales. The importance of content writing can't be overstated. 

How to get help with content writing

If you need help creating an effective content marketing strategy for your organization, that's okay! Not everyone is a natural wordsmith. That's why many marketing agencies have qualified content writers and SEO professionals who are ready to make a difference for your brand. While most quality content writing services don't come cheap, you can also hire freelance writers to help.

You'll want to look for freelance writers with clear content writing skills and examples or go with a reputable digital marketing agency. If your organization has the funds, you can also hire talent to work for your organization full-time by starting a marketing team.

You can also tackle content production yourself. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, you can probably draft a few blog posts about your brand and questions customers may have. This is better than nothing! Tools like Grammarly, Frase, MarketMuse, and Google Search Console can help you ensure your writing is ranking on the SERPs.

Check out my other articles to learn more about digital marketing, writing, photography, and running a small business.

Chase Charaba

Writer, photographer, and small business owner
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Chase Charaba is an aspiring fantasy author, photographer, and small business owner residing in the pnw. He loves hiking, collecting vinyl records, and stargazing.

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